People: Betty Jane Candies the culinary gift for the state of Io - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

People: Betty Jane Candies the culinary gift for the state of Iowa

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -

Betty Jane Candies in Dubuque is celebrating 75 years this year.  But the family owned and operated company also has a couple of honors to celebrate this year as well. Towards the end of November, Betty Jane Candies were named the culinary gift for the state of Iowa in People magazine's 2013 Entertaining Special.

Drew Siegert is the president of Betty Jane Candies. He says it all started with an e-mail.

"I came in one morning and I had an e-mail in my inbox from '@peoplemagazine.com'," Siegert said. "I thought 'well this is interesting, what is this?"

People magazine informed Siegert that they were searching for the top culinary gifts from each state for there entertaining special magazine.

"They said we have heard good things about you and asked if we could send them some samples." Siegert said.

Siegert sent one of the stores most popular items, Gremlins to members of People magazine. He said about a week later, members of the magazine contacted him and told him they loved the product and wanted to do a test photo shoot with the product.

"They told us a couple of days later that you guys are going to be the pick for the state of Iowa, but you can't tell anyone, "Siegert said laughing. "So we had to keep that under our hat for about a month."

But this isn't the first honor, Betty Jane Candies has received in the past couple of months. A couple of months ago, Betty Jane Candies were also featured in the official gift bag of the 2013 news and documentary Emmy awards show.

"We weren't sure if it was real at first," Siegert said. "Because they just kind of sent us an e-mail and it wasn't an @emmy.com e-mail address. So we took about 5 days to kind of research the company a little bit to make sure it was an actual real offer. We also contacted some people that had worked with them in the past, and they said yeah, this is real."

Siegert says he thinks the homemade aspect to Betty Jane Candies sets them apart from other candies.

"We are not a high tech company at all," Siegert said. "Our candy makers stir our caramel in cooper kettles with wooden oars. We don't have a lot of machinery, a lot of it is done by hand."

Meggan Miller lives in Dubuque and says Betty Jane Candies is one place she always stops during the holiday season.

"I don't know, the candies just melt in your mouth. I mean I can't really describe it." Miller said.

Betty Jane Candies has three locations in the state of Iowa, two of those locations being in Dubuque and one in Cedar Rapids.

If you would like more information about Betty Jane Candies,  CLICK HERE.

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